Sam Adams Out, Westboro Baptist Church Pickets Boston Parade

Published March 16, 2014

Even though St. Patrick’s Day and Sam Adams beer go hand in hand in Boston, Sam Adams made the decision to withdraw its support of the South Boston parade, like Heineken did in New York, because gay and lesbian groups weren’t allowed to openly march.

Though Sam Adam’s tried to reach out with South Boston parade organizers to change the rules, they were denied.

“We were hopeful an agreement could be reached to allow everyone, regardless of orientation, to participate in this parade,” the company said. “However, given the current status of the negotiations, this may not be possible.”

The organizers said that while LGBT groups couldn’t march, LGBT individuals are welcome to, as long as they don’t identify themselves with signs or t-shirts.

“We invite all to join us to celebrate this historic event, but we must maintain our guidelines,” they said.

Heineken had a similar view.

“We believe in equality for all,” their statement simply said.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also announced that they would boycott their city’s parades.

“As mayor of the city of Boston, I have to do my best to ensure that all Bostonians are free to participate fully in the civic life of our city,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this year, the parties were not able to come to an understanding that would have made that possible.”

The Westboro Baptist Church posted media on their Twitter feed from the day’s festivities, along with the following tweets:

Ya won’t let us IN the St. Patrick’s Day parade, @paradeboston? Fine! We’ll picket em all! #GodH8sYourIdols @pinknews

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